Opening a medical practice is an exciting venture that is quite a big undertaking. Challenges and complications are plenty so it’s essential to have a clear and detailed plan in place to ensure success not just on the outset but moving forward too. Here’s our ultimate 4 step guide to opening a successful medical practice.
From idea to reality in 4 steps:
1. Create a profitable business plan and obtain financing
Obtaining financing should always be your first step when opening a medical practice and to finance your practice, you will need a business plan or pro forma. Obtaining financing, such as traditional bank loans, can be tricky, especially if you have a negative net worth after taking on debt to attend medical school, so this is where a solid, realistic business plan comes in.
Finance tips: consult a specialist to help you create a profitable business plan. This plan should outline your goals and targets as well as your practice expenses and projected revenue for at least the first three years. Without a business plan, goals can often get put on the backburner as doctors and dentists get called away from client facing, revenue-generating work to fight fires such as dealing with staff issues etc.
2. Purchase equipment and staff your practice
Assuming that you have secured financing, the next step is to prepare your practice ready for opening. To do this, you will need to hire your team and purchase all of the equipment that you’ll need to operate your practice every day. The equipment you need will depend on the type of practice you will be opening; here are common examples:
Computers – Electronic Health Record System (EHR), Practice Management System, Medical Billing Service, Medical Transcription Software.
Credit Card Processor
Background Check Services
Staffing tips: who will staff your clinic? You need to start this process early so that you are completely confident and ready to go when opening your medical practice. Certified nurses, an office manager, and a front office team are positions that you’ll want to fill so write out detailed job descriptions, post ads online, and hire people who understand and share your values and goals.
3. Check that you are legally ready to open your practice
Before opening a medical practice, it is wise to check that you have everything that you need in place, legally speaking. The necessary steps to ensure that you are complying with the law would be taken when outlining your business plan and preparing your practice, but it is always good practice to double check that you have already completed these steps:
Incorporate as a legal entity and obtain a tax I.D.
Get your healthcare providers credentialed (can take up to 3 months)
Establish your policies, procedures and compliance documentation
Purchase malpractice and liability insurance
4. Evaluate your practice performance once you are open
Many medical professionals can open their own practice, but to ensure that it is successful, you need to regularly monitor and measure its performance over time. How do you know that your office manager is effective and trustworthy if you’re busy visiting patients all day? How do you know if your systems are in fact saving you both time and money?
Monitoring tips: consider hiring a consultant or accountant who has experience monitoring medical practices to occasionally review operations and report back to you.
Always outline the steps you need to take to open YOUR practice
While these are the big 4 steps to opening a medical practice – planning, financing, and preparing to open – each practice and situation is different. You should also consider marketing your practice and selecting appropriate advisers, but some steps will be specific to you and your practice such as construction needs.
When opening a medical practice, take it one step at a time to ensure that you are creating a solid foundation for a successful medical practice.
Need help with opening your own practice? We can help you with your business planning, including creating a cash flow and profit strategy to ensure that whatever decision you make is a success. Just contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be keen to help.
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